Rugby: Sales of Highlanders season tickets up 150%

The Highlanders have sold more than 2400 season tickets - an increase of 150% - and are hoping for a crowd of more than 10,000 for this Friday night's game.

The special offer by the Highlanders for half-price tickets to Otago ratepayers appears to have been popular with the public, Highlanders marketing manager Doug McSweeney said.

A total of 2408 season ticket packages had been sold - 854 renewals from last year and 1554 new sales.

McSweeney said 93% of season ticket holders had renewed, which was a pleasing figure, and to get that many people coming back from last year was a real boost to the franchise.

The new members had come from all age ranges and right across Otago, McSweeney said.

"We've had plenty of interest from Dunedin, of course and from those in South Otago, Lawrence and into the Central Otago region.

Then there has been a few from North Otago and Gore," McSweeney said.

He felt the cheap price was undoubtedly a reason for the increase in members, along with the new coaching team, and the ability to play the same price at the Forsyth Barr Stadium next year.

The franchise had set a target of selling 1650, so to beat that target was great.

Most of the other franchises had incurred drops in season memberships.

The Hurricanes membership had been dropping by about 30% from last year.

McSweeney hoped to get a crowd of up to 10,000 for Friday night's first home game against the Chiefs.

The game had been heavily promoted to students and 2000 tickets were sold as part of an Orientation package.

• The Highlanders, in association with the Otago Daily Times, have given away a lifetime membership to the Highlanders and Otago games.

The winners are Pauline and Michael Ferguson, who have been season ticket holders for the past few years.


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